Tornado levels Joplin
After taking a direct hit in the tornado that hit Joplin, the "Volunteer House," with messages scribbled on its walls by people from around the country, takes first steps toward preservation.
Demolition work begins Sunday at St. John's Mercy Hospital in Joplin, the hospital that was virtually destroyed in the May 22 twister.
The recovery plan was developed by a citizen advisory panel and includes the creation of four new business districts that would allow residents to live and shop nearby.
As Joplin rebuilds following the deadly May 22 tornado that destroyed a large portion of the city, accountants are preparing to endure tough tax preparation for businesses in the area.
Members of Stephens College who volunteered to build and design homes in Joplin for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" watched their efforts revealed to the public Friday night at a watch party while they were surrounded by family and friends.
A citizens' advisory panel charged with leading initial recovery efforts wants the city to create four new business districts that would also allow residents to live and shop nearby.
A grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is helping to rebuild a Joplin hospital. The grant is one of many aimed at helping communities recover from last year's natural disasters.
The series finale of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" centers on Joplin and will air on Jan. 13. "We hope the show is just a start of the rebuilding process," said senior producer Diane Korman.
The rate of issuing building permits has remained steady, even after winter arrived.
Nearly seven months after the May 22 tornado, Joplin is dealing with what happens when a city loses thousands of buildings. Lawyers and victims' advocates are reporting surging caseloads of women looking for options. Sometimes, the only option is returning to an abusive situation.
Justin R. Compton of Springfield pleaded guilty Tuesday to bank fraud, the U.S. Attorney's office said. Compton wrote more than $160,000 in bad checks.
Insurance department director John Huff called the tornado "the largest insurance event in history."
Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder wants to suspend the wage requirements being used to rebuild some government-financed homes after the deadly Joplin tornado.
An error listing a northeastern Oklahoma man among those killed during the May 22 tornado was corrected by the Jasper County coroner ahead of a memorial observance to be held later this month.
Up to 20,000 photos scattered by the May 22 tornado have yet to be returned to their owners, but some have been claimed via a Facebook page called the Lost Photos of Joplin.
The state hasn't yet received a bill from FEMA and could have to cover part of the cost of rebuilding Joplin schools.
Though the library was not hit by the storm, it lost between 1,200 and 1,500 items that had been checked out. The materials were valued at about $30,000.
Contractors will try to salvage as much as they can from Joplin schools before demolishing them. Principals and teachers at the schools have a list of items that they would like to be saved.
C.J. Huff will appear in the 2011 Heroes Among Us Awards section of the magazine's Nov. 7 issue.